When George Bolton returns home to Devon at the end of the war, Rita assumes that her childhood sweetheart will marry her and that their future will be a reassuring continuation of their past. But the boy who joined the RAF has returned a man, and a man irrevocably changed by the horrors that he has seen. Unable to settle back into the sleepy country routine, George resolves to spend a year on the family farm in Argentina, and, despite her disappointment, Rita promises to wait for him.
Before he has even landed on Argentine soil, George has fallen in love with someone else, a woman who seems to soothe his troubled soul. He marries Susan even though he knows it will break Rita’s heart. With her thousands of miles away, George feels he can avoid the consequences of his decision…
While he is away, Max de Guinzberg, the young Jewish refugee adopted by Rita’s eccentric grandmother, grows up. Tormented by the tragedy of his past, he finds solace in Rita, whom he has loved for as long as he can remember… But her heart still belongs to George.
When his father dies, George returns to Frognal Point to find he must revisit the past. Reawakened by his abiding love of the Devon countryside, memories of that youthful innocence return and George finds himself tempted by another agonising choice.
Crafted in the lush beauty of rural Devon, tempered in the scorching heat of the Argentine sun, The Swallow and The Hummingbird is a passionate romance in the grand tradition, written with both an eye for comedy, as well as an insight into the tragedies of life.
Paula Sealey says:
Santa Montefiore is one of my favourite authors, but sadly I found this particular book quite disappointing. Unusually, the characters were rather dull and I struggled to care what happened to them as the story progressed. It was certainly no match for the passion I felt reading about the wonderful characters in ‘Meet me under the Ombu Tree’, my number one Santa book. The plot itself is still nicely woven here, but nothing stood out to make this an above average read and I skimmed through a fair portion of it.
Fab Libranian says:
As young, beautiful and innocent Rita Fairweather prepares to welcome home her childhood sweetheart as he returns from the war, she feels confident that their enforced separation will not have damaged the love between them and that they will soon settle down to married life. But George comes back an uneasy young man, haunted by his experiences as an RAF pilot and he jumps at the chance of adventure in Argentina. He promises to return to make her his wife but will their life take the course Rita so desperately wants?
This novel got very mixed reviews at our Novel Lovers Reading Group. Some of us enjoyed the easy to read style and the romantic gentle story line; others were frustrated with it and found some of the characters and plotlines unbelievable. I think this is a story to enjoy on a hot summer’s day when you just want to relax and unwind.
***Readers love the romantic worlds of Santa Montefiore***
‘Accomplished and poetic‘ Daily Mail on The Affair
‘A gripping romance... as believable as the writing is beautiful‘ Daily Telegraph on The Butterfly Box
‘‘Nobody does epic romance like Santa Montefiore. Everything she writes, she writes from the heart’ Jojo Moyes
As you can see, the oppinions regarding Santa Montefiore’s book are various. It probably depends on one’s taste so, the best way to finding out the real value of the book is to read it by yourself. I think it’s worth the time. Now the question is: How long would you wait for the love of your life?